As a child I found it very difficult to tell the truth. In fact, when I was suspected of breaking a neighbor's window and denied it, I lied so convincingly that I'm still not sure if I actually broke that window. Only recently, after breaking one of our expensive imported goblets, did I realize how hard it still was for me to be honest. And yet I began to see that I loved being truthful and deeply admired honesty in others. What really seemed lacking was courage to tell the truth.
Why wasn't I able to express that courage? Because I didn't want others to be upset with me, and didn't want to hurt anyone. But this kind of reasoning was clearly not right.
As I prayed, I saw that the environment of my childhood home had fostered timidity, which brought many struggles and failures in my approach to life. Yet I realized that through my study of Christian Science courage had gradually been gained and had been expressed in many ways. As I continued to pray, I also recognized that, in a sense, the basis of life is thought, and that my approach to life is my thought put into action. I questioned, ''What, then, is my 'real' thought? Does it derive from environment?'' I concluded that the source of all ''real'' thought is God, the one infinite Mind, the divine Principle of good governing man and the universe. From this Principle all moral courage derives.
Principle stood out to me as a fixed, unalterable, unopposable, absolute presence that manifests itself in deep convictions of right which bless us and mankind. Conviction is never timid or afraid. When one is convinced of right, he unhesitatingly expresses this right. In a sense, it becomes law to him.
I knew that this awakening in my thought was the result of prayer, and that I had felt the influence of the healing, saving Christ, which Jesus so fully expressed centuries ago. I also knew that God is not only Principle but Love, as the Scriptures teach, and that Love is never destructive to the individual but lifts thought and life to something better and firmer.
I saw that timidity was only darkened mortal thinking that hadn't been awakened yet to the light. It wasn't my real thinking because its basis wasn't good; it didn't derive from God. Darkened thinking only seems to be our own thinking until we wake up, through prayer, to the light of the one Mind and its true, healing thoughts.
With this awakening I was able to explain to my husband the full truth about the goblet. He was very kind and gentle about it. Neither psychology, nor a pill , nor any other human means could have met so successfully this need for the courage to be honest. And I know that as I understand more clearly that God is Principle, I'll express the courage of honesty more and more.
I can wholeheartedly agree with Mary Baker Eddy, n1 who writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ''Fear of punishment never made man truly honest. Moral courage is requisite to meet the wrong and to proclaim the right.'' n2
n1 The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.
n2 Science and Health, p. 327
The recognition that moral courage and honesty have a spiritual basis, derived from Principle, is greatly strengthening. No one, regardless of his past history, can truly be separated from Principle and the qualities it imparts. Yet to consistently prove this we need the deep desire to be honest and courageous; and we need to accept the truth of our actual, spiritual identity as made by God.
Since honesty and courage can be gained on an individual level, they can become more prevalent worldwide. Their source embraces all mankind, and our deeply felt realization of that fact can be a powerful healing influence. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end . . . O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day . . . I have vain thoughts: but thy law I do love . . . Deal with thy servant according unto thy mercy, and teach me thy statutes . . .Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniqity have dominion over me. Psalms 119:33, 97, 113, 124, 133